Girl oh girl, I hope you have the song “9 to 5” in your head now.
Other titles I considered for this blog were: Working for Tuition (“Working for a Living”) and Full Time a-Worker (“Full Time Lover”).
So, yeah. I’m working full-time for pay.
The full-time part is the hardest part of this gig. I have worked part-time since before my son was born. I am not proud of this fact. But, almost twenty years ago (ohmygawd), I quit a full-time job (great boss left) and got pregnant after years of trying. Note: “After years of trying” is one of the only ways white people can say “we had lots of sex” in a socially-acceptable way. Like, you could probably say that to your in-laws.
While I was pregnant, I worked part-time as a consultant’s right-hand person and — after I had my son — I worked as an artist and a caterer. Note: catering was awesome and fun and my favorite job to this day. But it was only fun when we lived in Vermont, because everyone I worked with was smart and interesting. Unloading a truck at 1:30 in the morning with a bunch of 20-year old boys on the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border is a something else completely. I think the technical term is: LIVING FUCKING HELL.
After all that fun, I got back into technical writing, but still part-time.
The irony of all this (I think this qualifies as irony. I’ve been very confused about the definition of irony since Alanis Morissette’s song “Isn’t It Ironic,” that basically lists a bunch of bad-luck events. But let’s assume I’ve got irony correct (I excelled in math and art, not English, damn it! We’re back to my sentence here –>) is that I spent my high school years dreaming up a business for employer-supported child care. Hell, I wrote a business plan for the idea after college. I always imagined myself asking for my baby to be brought up from the on-site child care center to my office (executive, duh), so I could breast feed … with my feet on the desk. Obviously, I was unaware of how cumbersome BREASTFEEDING could be.
On a side note (honestly, what ISN’T a side note in these parts?), I once watched a young woman AT THE STARTING LINE OF A RUNNING RACE, pull up her shirt and begin nursing. I never nursed with such ease. It was a constant effort to Get Set Up, Put Pillows In Place, Bring Out 10 Pound Right Breast, etc., etc., etc. It was fucking hell. And I haven’t even talked about the burning and clogging breast ducts. Jaysus.
Where was I?
Oh yeah! Full-time a-Worker.
So, now I work full-time. What is the hardest part? Besides the fact that my colitis has been flared up since about my fourth week, annnnnd — I had to quit ALL THE FREE CAFFEINE that is offered throughout the office. Free Americanos. FREE AMERICANOS!!!! (HAHAHHA. It’s sounds like something you’d put on a sign at a protest.) (ahaahhahah! We should put that on a sign for the 2020 election. FREE AMERICANOS (FROM THIS ASSHAT!) That last part is probably implied, but — just in case.) <- I’ve lost track of how many parentheses I need.
For the record, I still have coffee when I wake up (I’m not going to quit wake-up caffeine, you monster. 1. It’s allowed on any food regimen for colitis (okay, so they usually say weak coffee, but BY GOD I have a life to live here, people!)) and B. Remember — I have a puppy. Trust me, if I don’t have caffeine before dealing with That Guy, it is not a pretty sight.
Where was I?
Oh yeah. The hardest part about working for tuition: the hours between 3pm and 4:55pm.
Every day I think I would have made a great teacher. But, just because of the hours. Actually, I think I would be a solid teacher at an all-girls private school, teaching algebra. I know that is very specific.
But, I am definitely designed for 7am-3pm. So, why not work those hours? Because this:
- 4:50 am — alarm 1
- 5:00 am — alarm 2
- 5:10 am — alarm 3
- 5:20 am — alarm 4
- 5:30 am — remove mouth guard, boil water for coffee, pour coffee
- 5:35am — meditate (2020 resolution!)
- 5:45 am — yoga
- 6:15 am — PUPPY (wake, love, walk, feed, manage)
- 6:30-7:10 am– make breakfast, pack lunchES (part-time worker holdover)
- 7:10-7:30 am — shower, figure out work outfit in shower, dress, put on mascara
- 7:30-7:45 am — walk PUPPY
- 7:50 am — some mess of boil water, make fucking peppermint tea, leave note for dog walker, make sure Kong ™ is in freezer and gather all things I need (see below), leave for work (I have the most beautiful commute and can see Mt. Hood TWICE if the weather is cooperating)
Regarding 7:50 am: On my first Monday at work (second week), I forgot my BADGE. I need a badge to get into the main office AND into my department (It’s all VERY top secret). Fortunately, my college-attending son was still home and had driven me to work. I called him and asked if he could grab my badge and bring it back. He did. What a guy!
Then I got to my desk (Yay, badge!) and realized that I had also left my laptop at home. (Why did I bring my laptop home? I HAVE NO TIME TO DO ANYTHING AT HOME!) Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I called my son — AGAIN — and asked him to bring me my laptop. The best part of all this forgetting? IT WAS MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY.
Nice Guys At Work (they’re all really nice) set me up with a temporary machine, and my son didn’t have to bring my laptop until lunch. But — TO THIS DAY — I now have a handy, easy-to-remember acronym that I use before I leave the house to make sure I HAVE EVERYTHING FOR WORK. If you know me well, you know that I am severely A.I. (Acronym Impaired), so this acronym needed to be SUPER easy to remember. Here is it: IBMLLLLWWGST
IBM, quadruple L, double W, G-S-T <— that’s how I say it to myself.
- I: iphone
- B: badge (duh)
- M: meds
- L: LAPTOP!!!!!!!
- L: lunch
- L: leave lights on (sunset = 4:27pm in December)
- L: lock front door
- W: watch (I no longer wear this watch, but who doesn’t love saying double W?)
- W: shit. what is the other W? <5 minutes later> WALLET!
- G: glasses (reading)
- S: sweater (I now leave a puffy vest at work)
- T: fucking peppermint tea
The list has clearly grown.
Then I get to work and leave at 4:55ish. Why 4:55? Traffic (duh!).
When I get home, I make dinner, which is usually some half-assed effort that involves microwaving organic frozen vegetables INSIDE THE PLASTIC BAGS they’re sold in. This is just ONE of the full-time workery things I do because I no longer have time to make nice meals (and also one of the GAGILLION things I do NOW, that I used to judge other people for doing, which is an entire blog in itself because if there is any Big Lesson I’ve Learned, it’s that every_single_judgemental_thought I’ve ever had has come back to bite me in the ass with a whiplash-karma-like affect that would make you THINK I’d stop being so judgy, but — well — old habits, all that).
WHERE WAS I?
My other short cuts include: replacing the vinegar/baking soda that I used to clean the shower with a bubbling chemical that “cuts through soap scum” and — by gawd — the fucking shine! Also, I picked up the scariest colored (an indescribable, unnatural blue) dishwasher detergent on sale (I’ve seen that shit for NINE dollars, regular price), and while it smells chemically and looks like something out of a horror movie, I haven’t had to rewash a glass in weeks, despite Family’s Ongoing Substandard Dishwasher Loading.
I’m sorry this blog is so long (apologizing for everything is ANOTHER blog idea!), but I haven’t written in over a year and I really wanted to tell you all this.
Catherine (adoraB.le) Winchild